Pastor Phil Cooley
In all of the traditions and routines in the year of a church, few moments give me as much joy as the call and response of “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!” Those simple words express both the foundation and form of our hope as believers in Jesus Christ. I am so excited that on Easter Sunday we as a congregation will joyously declare this truth.
The truth that Jesus was raised from the dead means that our hope for life after death isn’t wishful thinking. We don’t have to tightly squeeze our eyes shut, cross our fingers, throw up a desperate prayer to God and hope that there is something more for us after we die. We can, with confidence, standing on the firm foundation of the resurrection, know that life after death is both possible and God’s desire for us. What joy to know that He is risen!
Jesus resurrection also establishes the form of our hope. We see in the resurrected person of Jesus that God in his goodness intends for our own resurrection to be a glorious embodied existence. While we might not know all about what life eternal with God will be like, we do know that it will surpass our expectations in every way. We know this because He HAS risen indeed!
Easter is a time of great joy. I know that my own joy in hearing “He is risen; He is risen indeed” is a joy shared by many. But it is a joy that many do not know. More sadly still, many have settled for joys far less glorious, and tragically temporary. And yet, we all yearn to hope in something beyond this life. For some this only happens in those moments of life where the miraculous or tragic interrupt our routines: weddings, the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one. But Easter is an opportunity for people to consider if that yearning for something more might already have an answer.
This Easter it is my desire that our sanctuary will be full not only with those who have put their hope in Jesus but also those who are yearning for one to put their hope in. Join me in inviting friends, family, and community to hear the message of hope, the message of Easter. To do so you can grab some Easter invitations from the church lobby on Sunday, April14 or, better still, join us at 10:00 am on Saturday, April 13 as we walk our neighborhood, personally inviting our community to join us for Easter Sunday.